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Jump to year: 2021

2021

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June

Recent Podcasts I've Enjoyed

I’ve had a lot of time to listen to podcasts while moving into our new home and painting the walls of our media room! I got a good chunk of listening in this weekend as I spent hours painting the room. Here are a couple of episodes that I recently listened to and enjoyed:

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May

Sparks Joy | May 2021

Sparks Joy is a monthly roundup of people, experiences, or things that brought joy or value for me during this time. It’s always good to practice a little gratitude! Here is what sparked joy for me in the month of May.

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Media Room Mood Board

What makes the movie theater experience so special? It is the dark, sound-proof room with a big screen and surround sound. So that we can be truly immersed in the movie! When I think about creating a media room in my own home, I want to replicate these same factors to turn a room into a theater. I really love the execution Albie Buabeng did here in her home:

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NZXT H510 Elite PC Build

Last summer during the height of the pandemic, I decided to upgrade my entire office setup since it looked like I’d be working from home for a while. One of those things was my computer, which used to be a 2013 Macbook Pro. It was definitely due for an upgrade! I looked into getting an iMac, which I actually did - then promptly returned it after finding out it wouldn’t be able to double as a second monitor (seriously, who at Apple made that stupid decision?!). My setup needed to switch seamlessly between work and personal use. As a result, after much research (and YouTube videos), I decided to build my own PC for the same price I’d pay for an iMac, only better.

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Essential Plant Care Supplies

This guide lists all the items I love and use to take care of my houseplants. I will not recommend anything that I do not personally use. I hope this helps you, no matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned plant parent!

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Miller's Garden Miniature Dollhouse

At the beginning of the pandemic in March last year, I knew that I’d have to break my boredom at home with some sort of activity. I had made a miniature dollhouse from a kit that I brought home from Japan before. It certainly took up a lot of time but was also fun to make. As a result, I thought I’d try this activity again while holed up at home. Little did I know that the project would end up taking me over a year to finish! :weary:

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Master Bedroom Tour

Welcome to the jungle (bed) room! Our bedroom has evolved quite a bit since the beginning when we moved in. However, I always envisioned it to be calming/relaxing and it has definitely served us well.

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Hobby Room Mood Board

Many homes in our area have a “formal” living room that’s usually off to the side of the entrance. To me, this room is SUCH a waste a space, because why would we need both a formal and informal living room? As I thought a little more about how I want to purpose the space for our family’s needs, it occurred to me that it would be put to good use as a hobby or music room!

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Home Office Mood Board

I am very excited to have my own office in our new home! Right now, HB and I share an office (see our Home Office Tour here). It made designing the space kind of difficult since we both have different styles and in the end it became a mish-mash of our things. In my next office, I want to be more intentional about sticking to a color palette. The best part is, since it’s just me and my stuff I can decorate it however I want! I’m letting HB lead the direction of his own office - I’m interested in seeing how that’ll turn out. :joy:

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Home Office Tour

We’ve been spending a lot of time in this room in the last year - our home office. Both of us have been working from home since March 2020. While we will probably return to our actual offices at some point, but working in here for such a long time made me reconsider my entire set up. As a result, I upgraded a TON of things so now my home office setup is probably better than the one at the actual office! So come geek out with me - I’m excited to share my tech!

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Home Gym Mood Board

Our new home has a three-car garage. But since there’s only two of us and two cars, that extra garage seemed pretty useless at first. Until I thought about it some more and it hit me! The space would be perfect as a home gym! HB and I have been going to our community’s shared gym during the pandemic. It would be such a luxury to be able to work out at home, which would save so much time, and I’d have NO excuse not to work out!

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Play Room Mood Board

One of the rooms that I am most excited to decorate in the new house is the play room! This is a room that will explode with fun, bright, happy colors. I am most looking forward to playing with our kids, so naturally, I am also excited to design a space where kids can play and let their imaginations run wild. I think I’m just a big kid at heart!

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Game/Media Room Tour

One of my favorite rooms in our home is the game/media room. It’s fun, colorful, and comfortable. We certainly spend a lot of time in here, and especially during this last year…it provided us a good amount of entertainment while we were stuck at home. Come on in; I’m excited to share our different interests/hobbies that can be seen throughout this room!

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One Year with Dobby

Believe it or not, it has been one year since we welcomed Dobby into our home! We wanted to foster some dogs during the pandemic but never could’ve imagined that we’d end up keeping one. We started fostering in 2019 to get a better idea of what dog ownership was like since neither HB nor I had grown up with dogs. We both wanted a dog eventually, but wanted to first experience what it was like. Through fostering, we learned that each dog is SO different. We had fostered 3 other dogs before Dobby. Lucky for us, Dobby ended up being our “goldilocks” dog - I knew I wanted to keep her after only 2 weeks!

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April

Sparks Joy | April 2021

Sparks Joy is a monthly roundup of people, experiences, or things that brought joy or value for me during this time. It’s like practicing gratitude, but I can geek about them here online with other people!

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Living Room Mood Board

My imagination is going wild thinking of all the possible ways I could design our new home! Let’s start with one of the main, and most seen, spaces of the home - the living room. The way I imagine our living room to look is vastly different from what our first home’s living room looked like. For our first home, I was all about color play. I wanted bold, happy colors such as pink, yellow, and cobalt to greet me when I walked through the door. In fact, you can see what our first living room looked like in this post.

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Living Room Tour

Now that our move is a reality (yes, we’re really doing it this time!), I am panicking. I need to document the look of our current home, which I love, before we move! As a result, I speed-cleaned all the rooms and took pictures of them on the only sunny day last week. First up for showing is our living room, which I’ve actually shared here in the past. It is part of one large, open floor plan that shares a space with the dining area and kitchen downstairs. But as we change, our home also evolves with us. After a pandemic year, our living room looks vastly different now than it did before. Can you tell the differences?

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We Are Moving!

I still can’t believe I’m saying this, but yes, we are moving! HB and I have been house-hunting since last November. It has been quite the journey. It was stressful, anxiety-inducing, exciting, frustrating, sad, and insert any other emotion here. In fact, we were under contract for another home back in February, but it didn’t work out. So the entire heart-breaking process began yet again. Ironically, this home that we’re now under contract for has the exact same layout as the other one that we backed out of. What can I say, we like what we like, and God is so good to provide us a second chance!

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New Cozy Game to Try: Spiritfarer

I recently discovered this genre called “cozy games” that are aesthetic and relaxing video games. These are just the kind of games I look for and enjoy playing! Anything that gets my heart rate up and hands sweaty (even Mario Party) make me feel incredibly amped up and anxious. That is the opposite of what I want to feel when playing games, lol. Low stakes, non-competitive games only for me, please.

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How to Grow Healthy, Long Hair

Last spring when the world shut down - including hair salons - I went with the flow and decided that I simply grow out my hair. I chopped off my long locks shortly after getting married (seriously, does every woman do this?) in 2018 but didn’t think I’d grow it out again so soon. But ya gotta be flexible in times like these, right?

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Outdoor Activities Near Las Vegas

We were interested in finding outdoor, COVID-friendly activities when passing through Las Vegas on our way to Utah. Fortunately, Vegas had some beautiful outdoor places to enjoy! Here’s where we visited near/in Vegas:

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Zion National Park

This is our second time visiting Zion (our first being in 2017) but visitation was a bit different this time due to COVID. We thought we could roll up and take the Zion shuttle to get to the different trailheads like we did last time. NOPE. You need to have a shuttle ticket in order to board, and the number of tickets are limited.

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Bryce Canyon National Park

I had the pleasure of visiting my favorite national park on my husband’s birthday, of all days! It was not intentionally planned that way, but seeing how we packed a lot into one very full week, this was how it panned out. Ironically HB’s favorite park is Zion, which we visited the day after. But I love Bryce Canyon National Park so much because I think the landscape is unlike anything else. It takes my breath away every time. I’m sure HB got tired of hearing me say, “Cool! Look over here!” a million times during our hike. Seriously, every part of the park is photogenic.

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Weekly Outfits | April 11, 2021

Weekly Outfits is a round-up of my favorite outfits of the past week.

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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (what a mouthful!) is the furthest east we traveled on this trip. I didn’t know a lot about the area, but wanted to check it out since we had never been there before. Plus, its pretty close to Bryce Canyon, where we also wanted to go. During our two days there, we went on these 2 hikes:

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Joshua Tree National Park

I had to eat my own words (No naps while out traveling! Sleep is for the weak!!) on the FIRST day of our trip when a 3 hr plane ride + 3 hr car ride to Joshua Tree National Park gave me a dull headache. While it bummed me out that I had to take some time to feel better, we still had plenty of time left to see parts of the park before sunset. The perks of heading west, where the sun sets at 7-8pm! With a couple of hours in Joshua Tree, here’s what we did/saw:

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My Biorb Aquarium Setup & Supplies

At last, everything has arrived! I was so excited for all my parts to arrive and then to put everything together. It is indeed just as beautiful as I had imagined. I am in love with the overall look! If you’re curious, below is a final list of all supplies that I got to set up my Biorb aquarium. Some are the same items from a previous post, How Much Will Fishkeeping Cost?, but some are also different based on my additional research.

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What's the Big Deal with Easter?

In the last couple of weeks while reading Acts, I came across verses talking about the Good News such as: “But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went” (Acts 8:4). It made me wonder, what is the “Good News?” Why do we Christians call it that? What is the News and why is it so Good?

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March

Sparks Joy | March 2021

Sparks Joy is a monthly roundup of people, experiences, or things that “sparked joy” for me during this time. If you do not know what that means, then I highly recommend that you take a gander at this book! It has been a great exercise for me to think about the people or things in my life that make me happier. It’s like practicing gratitude, but I can geek about them here online!

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Weekly Outfits | March 28, 2021

Weekly Outfits is a round-up of my favorite outfits of the past week.

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We're Going on a National Parks Trip to the Southwest!

Just as the title says - we’re going on a national parks trip to the Southwest USA this next week! It has been more than a year since we last traveled, and I think we’re ready to get out. Our last trip was to Peru in Oct 2019, back when everything was “normal.” This time around, our travels will be quite different as we take more precautions to protect ourselves against COVID. Hello, face shields!

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Weekly Outfits | March 21, 2021

Weekly Outfits is a round-up of my favorite outfits of the past week.

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My Favorite Online Clothing Stores

It’s finally time to go shopping! Hopefully by now, you’ve made a detailed shopping list and know exactly what you’re looking for. Thanks to this pandemic, I had to buy most of my new wardrobe online. It’s kind of awesome but also kind of stressful because the possibilities are endless! I narrowed down my choices by selecting new pieces from the following stores. They are my tried and true favorites!

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How to Shop For Clothes

It never occurred to me until I started reading The Curated Closet that there is a correct way to shop for clothes. Only when I read its “THIRTEEN questions to ask oneself before making a purchase” did it dawn on me that most of my clothes were bought on a whim. Let’s take a look at how to shop for clothes that you will love and wear over and over again!

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First Impressions: Parks Board Game

After a nice long drought of not buying any new board games, last week I snagged a copy of PARKS on sale. PARKS has been on my board game wishlist since last year. Its incredible artwork drew me in, for sure! Over the weekend HB and I tried out this new game and here are my first impressions.

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Weekly Outfits | March 14, 2021

Weekly Outfits is a round-up of my favorite outfits of the past week.

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Closet Composition 101 - The Curated Closet Pt. 3

Now that I’ve tried on a bunch of clothes and know what looks good on me, I can start creating a plan for my closet rehaul. I did a closet clean-out where I evaluated all of my clothes and sorted them into 5 categories: donate, repair, tailor, temporary hold, and keep.

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How Much Will Fishkeeping Cost?

Previously, I expressed the desire to have a desktop aquarium. As I research, I am discovering that there are a LOT of accessories that’s involved with fishkeeping. Here, I am going to list all of the items a beginner fish parent will need + its estimated cost. Hello, reality check!

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Try Before You Buy - The Curated Closet Pt. 2

In a previous post, I introduced the idea of Redefining My Style where I examined what my ideal style would look like. I concluded that the overall vibe I’m going for is a casual, feminine style that is comfortable, well-tailored, and effortlessly chic. I found a bunch of inspiration photos online that demonstrated this perfectly. While those clothes looked good on those girls, what will actually work on me?

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Starting to Crochet a Waffle Scarf

One late night while browsing my favorite fashion blogs, I came across this picture of a blogger wearing a cute knit black scarf:

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I Want a Desktop Aquarium

This idea has been on my mind for a while, so let’s take a deep dive in this post. I want a cute little aquarium to display on my desk or bookshelf, but I have not taken the plunge just yet.

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Revisiting Stardew Valley

With the Stardew Valley board game coming out, my interest in the game has renewed! I actually bought the computer game a while ago. Its cute graphics and relaxing farming theme highly appealed to me.

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Texas Tulips

Out in Pilot Point, Texas is a tulip field called Texas Tulips where you get to pick your own tulips. Today, the weather was beautiful, which made it the perfect day to go!

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Redefining My Style with The Curated Closet

Throughout this last year while stuck at home quarantining in the middle of a global pandemic, I learned to keep myself busy/entertained with many interests. One of these projects is redefining and figuring out my personal style with the guidance of The Curated Closet.

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New Blog Created with Github Pages and Jekyll

Ever since I learned about creating static sites, I dropped dynamic ones like a hot potato. Goodbye clunky old CMS, hello Github Pages.

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